I love a good story. Reality TV is alright; I enjoy watching Survivor, the Amazing Race, and though I normally couldn’t care less about clothes, I actually find Project Runway pretty entertaining. But what I really enjoy are the shows whose writers and creators use television to tell unique and enthralling stories. I really appreciate the artistry and dedication that goes into creating quality television. So here are five shows that I think deserve some appreciation.
M*A*S*H (1972 – 1983)
I know someone’s going to come at me about how some of the humor on this show is sexist. And yes, it is, but given the context (a bunch of guys, in the army, in the 1950s,) that is hardly surprising. Though I found this aspect of the show irritating at times, I can’t say it really dampened my enjoyment of this classic show. With its quick witted humor and cast of colorful characters (Radar is the best don’t debate me on this,) M*A*S*H will always make me laugh, and will always have a special place in my heart. Old shows like this are some of my favorite television.
E. R. (1994 – 2009)
If you like medical dramas, you might want to skip this one because it will spoil you for any other. But in all seriousness, don’t skip E. R.; it’s one of the most heartwarming, heartbreaking, funny, tear-inducing, and all around great shows I’ve ever seen. The characters are so real, you’ll feel like they are your friends, and the stories so riveting, you’ll want to keep watching one after another. And unlike most American medical dramas, where the medicine is wildly inaccurate, this show is highly realistic (according to my mother, a P. A.)
The X Files (1993 – 2002)
We’ve all heard the song. But have you seen the show? In a world full of secrets, two FBI agents seek the truth. The X Files is sci-fi at its best. Sometimes intense and dark, other times laugh-out-loud funny, this show had me on the edge of my seat so many times, and I was rooting for Mulder and Scully the whole way through. It’s no wonder this show became a “cult classic.”
Person of Interest (2011 – 2016)
“You are being watched. The government has a secret system: a machine that spies on you every hour of every day. I know because I built it... Hunted by the authorities, we work in secret. You’ll never find us, but victim or perpetrator, if your number’s up…we’ll find you.” When I first started watching Person of Interest, I didn’t think I was going to like it much. I am so glad I stuck with it, because it quickly became my second favorite show of all time. What a show. What. A. Show. I sat on the edge of my seat and bit my fingernails, I laughed, I cried. This is a prime example of quality story-telling. Person of Interest sits firmly in the spot of second-favorite, never to be moved.
Lost ( 2004 – 2010)
A plane full of people crashes on an island. Stranded, they now have to survive and find a way to get home. This doesn’t sound very interesting or original, does it? But that’s not it. That’s not it at all. Not long after the characters crash on The Island, some strange things start to go down. Really strange things. And thus the viewer is plunged into one of the most incredible stories ever told. If you’re in the mood to to veg in front of the TV and be entertained by mindless shows, Lost is not for you. But if you are ready for a twisty, windy, mind-boggling plot, characters so real you start to feel like they’re part of your life, and a thrilling, emotional adventure, buckle up, and I hope you enjoy the ride. From the first episode to the last, this show had me completely enthralled. I was confused. I yelled “WHAT???” at the TV. I wracked my brain trying to figure it out. I stayed awake at night thinking about this show. And I loved every minute of it. I know this sounds silly, but in all honesty, there were times when I felt truly moved by this show. Watching it for the first time was an amazing experience and one I will never forget, earning Lost the permanent spot as my #1 favorite show ever. Now That’s a good story.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my tribute to five shows I’ll never stop loving.